True dual-band 450Mbps Wireless-N routers were one of the main trends in networking during CES 2011, with Trendnet, Netgear, and D-Link announcing their own. Cisco, on the other hand, didn't make any announcements during the show, but it's now one of the first to have a 450Mbps true dual-band router on the market.
Cisco announced today that it now ships the new Linksys E4200 concurrent dual-band router, its first to offer the ceiling speed of 450Mbps on the 5GHz band. This is similar to the Netgear WNDR4000 and the D-Link DIR-857, which are not yet available for purchase.
Apart from the higher speed, which is based on the three-stream standard, the E4200 also boasts a new, eye-catching design. However, it still has a flat shape and internal antenna design similar to previous models, such as the E3000 or the E2000.
The Linksys E4200 is a full Gigabit router with four LAN ports and one WAN port. It also has a USB port to support external storage. According to Cisco, the router's network storage feature supports UPnP Media Server, which allows consumers to stream movies, music, and photos to other devices around the home.
The company says that the USB port can also be converted to a Virtual USB port to host USB printers. Like other Cisco Linksys E-Series routers, the E4200 comes with Cisco Connect software that provides an easy three-step setup process and network management tools, such as parental controls and guest access.
All in all, the E4200 seems to be a major upgrade to the well-designed, easy-to-use E3000. A review of this new router is under way, so check back soon at CNET.com. If you can't wait, the Cisco Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Router is available now and costs around $180.